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Fashion on TV: Coco Chanel to Sex and the City

New York fashion week brings out the kitty claws in some people.

Susan Sarandon’s daughter sniffs that mommy actually wears her gym clothes into the night. Oh, the horror. Just where did Eva Amurri, 23, learn her fashion sense then? She says through her pals in the industry, but we suspect that Eva, like so many of us, learned everything we know about fashion through television.

This week, it’s not just a coincidence that Lifetime is trotting out a miniseries based on the life of fashion icon Coco Chanel. Coco Chanel premieres at 8 p.m. Saturday on Lifetime spinning the tale of the little French orphan girl who becomes a dressmaker apprentice in 1912 Paris before being whisked away by a nobleman who takes her to live at his country estate. Don’t you hate that when that happens?

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Shirley MacLaine as Coco Chanel in the Lifetime miniseries “”Coco Chanel” premiereing at 8 p.m. Sept. 13 on Lifetime.

She struggles. She wins in love, she loses in love. She wins in fashion, she loses in fashion, she makes a dramatic comeback. It’s all there, with Barbora Bobulova playing the young Coco and Shirley MacLaine playing the designer in her later years.

MacLaine says she talked to Audrey Hepburn when the two were making Children’s Hour about playing Chanel.

“(We) were talking about the contradictions, the ambition, the need for love, the search for beauty, et cetera, that fashion designers had because I didn’t know much about fashion, and she told me that I should play Coco Chanel,” MacLaine says. “And I said, “Well Coco Chanel was little and scrunched over and very short.” And she said, “No, but the spirit of the woman is what matches your spirit.” Now, I found Coco to be everything between generous and rude. So I don’t know what Audrey really meant.”

MacLaine says she loved Chanel’s contradiction, her colorful rudeness and her ability to improvise a new outfit in 10 seconds.

“I loved her conflict between love and ambition and her conflict between how to get stuff done and not be hurtful,” MacLaine says. “I think we’re both colorful. I think we’re both rude. I think we’re both spontaneous. We both can’t hold what we feel to be the honest opinion in. “

So once you pass the fashion history class provided by this miniseries, you can move on with your education by watching these top ten TV fashion shows:

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